Microsoft first announced the Surface Pro with LTE in May of 2017, over seven months ago. Now, as spotted by MSPowerUser, it’s finally become available for purchase for everyone, even if you’re not an enterprise customer.
Over at the Microsoft Store, you’ll now find it as a detail in the description of the Surface Pro. Fortunately, it appears that “optional LTE advanced” can be included in every configuration of the device, ranging from $800 up to $2,700. However, there are a couple of caveats.
First, it’s only available as a “Commercial” unit, according to its listing. There isn’t currently any indication as to how these differ from a consumer-oriented model, or who is restricted from buying one.
Second, they are currently available only in the Core i5 variety, starting with the $1,150 version with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage up to the $1,450 configuration with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Similar to how Apple has always priced LTE iPads, you may be getting internet wherever you go, but it comes at a price.
Though Microsoft isn’t making a big deal of it, the timing of the release is important. Just a couple of weeks ago, Qualcomm announced its move into the PC market with its “Always Connected PCs.” This new line of Snapdragon-powered 2-in-1s will hit store shelves in Spring with built-in LTE (at no extra cost!) and up to 20 hours of battery life. We’ve already seen a couple of these computers, but we’re expecting a whole line of them to flood the halls of CES in just a few weeks, with entries from companies like HP, Lenovo, and Asus.
These LTE-powered Surface Pros use the same Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 modems that can be found on these Always Connected devices. As pointed out by Neowin, a Core i7 configuration isn’t offered because the modem is placed right where the fan is located on the i7 model.
The Surface Pro LTE is currently listed as sold out on the website, but it appears to be available at a very slim selection of Microsoft stores around the country, for in-store purchase only. If you want one, we recommend acting quickly — it’s sure to be a popular model.